You’ve probably heard of nasal rinses and the many benefits they can bring: preventing sinus infection, improving breathing, reducing swelling, washing away mucus and allergens, etc. They are an efficient way to keep your sinuses healthy. Many patients are recommended to use nasal saline irrigations as part of treatments for multiple nasal diagnoses. Administration of nasal saline rinses can be done with a variety of products including a sinus rinse bottle, neti pot, or a nasal lavage device. Nasal saline rinses provide away to wash the sinus and nasal cavities, while also allow for administration of medications in some patients. It cleanses the nasal cavities of debris or mucus providing a great sense of relief for most patients immediately.
You have many different brands and method of using a saline rinse. They come in shapes like a teapot to a squeeze bottle. Many patients have questions about how to make saline rinses at home, and whether it is safe to do so. Yes, it is! First, it’s very important that you use boiled water (that has cooled), or distilled water to avoid any unnecessary contamination that could occur from using tap water. Distilled water is available by the gallon at many retailers for less than $1. Once you have filled your rinse bottle with water, you can make saline by adding a salt packet purchased at your local pharmacy. These contain all the necessary ingredients for your rinse. These are available in the aisle where sinus rinse bottles and nasal sprays are available for purchase. You can clear your sinuses and breathe easily for just a couple dollars.
Lots of people want to make their own saline mix at home instead of purchasing the packet. Here is a recipe you can follow to do so:
- 1 cup (8 oz) distilled water or boiled water that has cooled
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
Shake to mix.If you need a refresher on how best to administer saline rinses, here is a video that you might find helpful.
Visit mmclinic.com/ENT for more information, or call 615-867-8110 today to schedule an appointment!
By Britni Caplin, M.D. - MMC Comprehensive ENT Specialist
Dr. Caplin spent her early life in West Virginia, prior to attending medical school and completing residency at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Prior to her arrival at MMC, she worked in private practice in Massachusetts, then served as the Chief of Otolaryngology within the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, while also holding an appointment as an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.